Data AcQuisition And Real-Time Analysis
Scope - Spectrum - Spectrogram - Signal Generator
Software for Windows
Science with your Sound Card!
The following is from the Daqarta Help system:



Spectrum Analyzer

Signal Generator

(Absolutely FREE!)


Pitch Tracker


DaqMusiq Generator
(Free Music... Forever!)

Engine Simulator

LCR Meter

Remote Operation

DC Measurements

True RMS Voltmeter

Sound Level Meter

Frequency Counter
    Spectral Event

    MHz Frequencies

Data Logger

Waveform Averager


Post-Stimulus Time
Histogram (PSTH)

THD Meter

IMD Meter

Precision Phase Meter

Pulse Meter

Macro System

Multi-Trace Arrays

Trigger Controls


Spectral Peak Track

Spectrum Limit Testing

Direct-to-Disk Recording



Frequency response

Distortion measurement

Speech and music

Microphone calibration

Loudspeaker test

Auditory phenomena

Musical instrument tuning

Animal sound

Evoked potentials

Rotating machinery


Product test

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DaqMusiq From WAV Files

By default, DaqMusiq uses a separate random generator to provide white noise from which the Pitch Tracker extracts frequencies to be converted to MIDI notes.

Or, you can use the Daqarta Generator to provide a wide variety of noise and waveform types, with various types of modulation.

Alternatively, if you have purchased a Daqarta license (or are still in the trial period), you can use the sound card Inputs to drive MIDI performances with live sounds.

But what if you want to use an existing .WAV recording to drive your DaqMusiq performance? This seems like it ought to be easy: Just play the file normally with your favorite media player after selecting Stereo Mix as the Input line in Windows XP, or accepting the default on later Windows versions.

Unfortunately there is no way to separate the .WAV sound from that of the DaqMusiq performance; you usually just get a big mess.

But there is still a way to do this, though it may seem a bit cumbersome. (Though it has the advantage it will even work with the free Generator, after the Daqarta trial period has expired and Inputs no longer work without a license.) The trick is to use the recorded .WAV file as a Play waveform with the Daqarta Generator. (Sorry, this method won't work with raw MP3 or other compressed files... you'll have to convert to .WAV first.)

In the Generator dialog (the default dialog when Daqarta starts, or click on the thin unlabeled button under Generator in the toolbar) click on Load Setup near the bottom right. Select Default.GEN to get a known setup (a simple 440 Hz sine wave) that you will modify.

Click on the Left Wave Controls button, and in the dialog that opens click on the Wave button near the top. You'll get a dialog showing all the available Daqarta waveform types.

Click on Play (near the center) and a separate Play dialog will open. At the top will be a stack of 8 buttons marked 'Play 0' to 'Play 7'. Click on Play 0 to open a standard Windows file Open dialog, and select the .WAV file you want to use. By default, the Open dialog starts in Daqarta's own User_Data folder, so you may need to navigate to the file's actual location... such as Documents - My Music.

The Play 0 button will now be labeled with the file name, and the file will start playing. (If you don't hear anything, hit the F9 key to open the volume slider dialog and make sure the Mute buttons are toggled off.)

If you loaded a stereo file, the button will have an 'L' button to the right of it, and the former Play 1 button will show the same file name with an 'R' next to it.

Now start DaqMusiq (F8 key followed by 'D' key) with your chosen MIDI setup (DQM file).

The .WAV file will play continuously; when it gets to the end it automatically repeats. You can use the Play From and Play To controls in the Play dialog to select any particular portion of the file to loop on. You can even select Reverse Play to play it backwards.

You can go back to the Left Wave Controls dialog and adjust the playback rate, or add modulation.

The above instructions only play the Left channel of the file. That's usually a good choice for this purpose, but if your file has strong Left-Right differences (such that Left-only might miss something important), you can start another stream by clicking on the [1] button at the top of the Left Wave Controls. Then toggle Stream On, click on Wave, then Play as you did before. You'll see the file you've already loaded, with the Right channel below the Left. Click that lower button to start it playing.

Note that you will probably want to set the identical Play From and Play To values so the channels will stay in sync. You can hit ALT+0 to go to the original Stream 0 Play dialog and copy the values, then ALT+1 to get back to Stream 1 to paste them as needed.

The Default.GEN setup has both Stream Level controls set to 100%. But since Stream 0 and Stream 1 are added together to get the single Left Output stream that goes to the Pitch Tracker, the output could clip if both channels were recorded at high levels. The Generator Clip Indicator will flash red when that happens. (If you set both Stream Level controls to 50%, you can avoid the possibility of clipping.)

You don't need to actually listen to the original .WAV (you can mute it or set the volume to zero), since the Pitch Tracker will be working with the raw waveform, prior to volume/mute functions. You would probably want to do that for a live performance.

But it can be handy for keeping track of where you are in the file when creating a MIDI Recording. (The .WAV audio won't be recorded, only the MIDI data derived from it.) You may want to use hot-keys to change the performance at certain places in the original recording. (Hot-keys control the musical scale in GlossyFish, GlossySticks/Bones, GlossyFishSticks/Bones, PhrygidBlueJam, AirBand, and AirGuitar. They also control many special effects for the last two.) You will also want to know when the original is ending so you can toggle MIDI Record off before it repeats.

If you are going to record the original yourself, you may want to leave a few seconds of silence at the start and end. The silence will allow a percussion-only intro and closing with many of the above setups, but it also allows you a little leeway to get everything started at the right time.

Once you have your original playing properly, toggle the Generator off via the toolbar button. (Whenever it is toggled on, it always starts playing at the Play From point.) Toggle Pitch-to-MIDI off, then click MIDI Record. You'll be prompted for a file name; select an existing file for overwrite or enter a new name, as desired. Note that the Save button in that dialog is highlighted, meaning you can accept the entry and proceed just by hitting the Enter key. Now move the cursor over the Generator button in the toolbar. Hit Enter and the MIDI recording starts along with Pitch-to-MIDI, then click the mouse button to start the Generator. (If you click Generator first, you'll lose the highlight on the Save button and have to manually move the cursor over to click it, possibly missing some of the .WAV recording before the MIDI performance and recording start.)

If you will be using the same .WAV file for this purpose in the future, be sure to save the Generator setup under a meaningful name. (Don't replace Default.GEN!)

See also Example MIDI Setup Files, MIDI Setup Files, Musical Frontiers, DaqMusiq, KaleidoSynth, Pitch-to-MIDI dialog, Pitch Track Toolbox - Overview, Spectrogram / Pitch Track Controls, Spectrogram / Pitch Track (Sgram/PT)


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